Sourdough Bread Success!

I can’t believe it- it worked! For those of you who saw last week’s sad results of my first try at sourdough bread made with my own starter, you’ll understand the depths of my amazement. I didn’t want to give up, though, especially since I’m trying to accomplished some of the challenges Nourished Kitchen is suggesting as a move toward eating more traditional foods.

I completely changed the way I made it, beginning with a different recipe that was a no-knead bread similar to the artisan bread I make all the time. I cooked it in my enamel dutch oven and got that wonderful artisan crust.

And it tasted great, nice and sourdough-y with a good crumb. I thought it would have more air-holes in it, but maybe that will come with time as I get used to working with this dough. It was pretty light anyway for being 100% whole wheat!

I made it with the starter from last week that had been waiting in the fridge, without feeding it first. It had bubbles in it, so I could tell was alive. I removed what I needed, fed what remained (making it with less water because I read that a thicker started will produce a less sour dough and I’m looking for a mild flavor), and let it set out overnight before putting back in the fridge.

This is what the starter looks like after 8 hours in the fridge again- much nicer than the starter from last week. I did “cheat” a little on the bread because I’m working with a new starter (and not wanting to repeat my last experience) and added a 1/4 tsp of instant yeast. But looking at this starter, I’m hoping the next loaf will rise all on it’s own.

All-in-all, I’m very happy with the ease, the look and the taste of this bread and will continue to use my starter to make this weekly, I think. Here’s what I did to finally get a good loaf of sourdough bread:

1. Created my own starter using the 7-day process described on Heavenly Homemakers.

2. After a week in the fridge, used this recipe from The Mad Fermentationist, but added 1/4 tsp instant yeast to the water/starter mix and used all 100% whole wheat bread flour. Why all whole wheat? Well, this was the point, to make a whole wheat bread that had been soured to help make it more digestible and get all those nutrients. If I wanted to use part white flour, I’d just stick with my favorite artisan bread recipe.

3. When I shaped the dough for the last rise, I used flour, not cornmeal, and placed it on parchment, just like I do for artisan bread. I baked it in an enameled cast-iron dutch oven at 450 degrees for 25 minutes, then removed the lid and cooked for another 15 minutes.


Now if I can just repeat this beautiful loaf next time without using any yeast.


This is linked with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday , Tasty Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday.





  1. Jenelle says

    Good for you for trying again and making it work! It looks beautiful. So are you going to be making this instead of the artisen bread from now on?

  2. says

    Your bread looks wonderful! I just had a colossal sourdough bread failure- but I’m pretty sure I understand what went wrong, so hopefully more luck next time.

  3. Gina says

    Beautiful! I’ve been right with you in successes and failures with sourdough! I still don’t have it all figured out but my successes are more frequent! I want to try the recipe you shared next!

  4. Anonymous says

    Reading your mouthwatering recipies had me wanting to try this again. I learned a few things, my starter stopped growing after pouring off the top “beer” substance. I reccomend stiring it back in. I next baked a failed bread (did not raise). I found this website that was very helpful.
    I started feeding my starter TWICE a day with equal parts flour and water by WEIGHT. I also added a sour dough starter I found a the store for under $3.00. It was called Goldrush and came in a packet. I added it when I fed my starter and it came to life and is bubbling along now. I have made the crackers and english muffins. Easy and fun. I am going to try the bread again, now that I am confident on the starter being active. Yeah!!!

  5. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    AmyBeth- I am glad you’ve found a way to keep your starter growing! I know some really struggle with that. I’m lucky that I’ve never had a problem- it’s just gotten stronger over the year and a half that I’ve had it, and I pour off the “hooch” and haphazardly add flour and water. :-) But I say, whatever works!! Have fun with it.

    • says

      It’s actually still there, Sami, but she must’ve done some reorganizing, because it’s housed on a page with a bunch of other posts and hard to find – scroll all the way to the bottom. But you’ve inspired me to post an update and I’ll go ahead and include the steps I took that will be easy to find on one page. Look for it soon – thanks!

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